The Rotoworld Draft Guide is … Go!

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Yes, I’m shilling something here. But it’s a good something.  The Rotoworld Draft Guide drops today, and you really should consider buying it.

What is it?  Tons of analysis, projections, and profiles for over 1,000 players ranging down to A-ball.  Articles covering prospects, keeper-league strategies, mock drafts, sleepers and busts. There are customizable, printable cheat sheets, updated depth charts for all teams and all manner of other goodness.

And I even wrote some stuff in it.  Yes, I’m a fantasy baseball moron, but don’t worry: my stuff is not fantasy-related. It’s for the yuks.  Specifically, my 2011 “Year in Preview” in which I make hilarious predictions of what might come to pass this year, such as:

February: Given the addition of Cliff Lee to a rotation that already includes Roy Halladay, Cole Hamels and Roy Oswalt, Commissioner Selig decides to call off the rest of the season and award the Phillies the 2011 World Series trophy.  Phillies fans still complain, however, saying that they were “disrespected” by virtue of the fact that Selig did not have the words “and all of the rest of you are losers” engraved under the team’s name on the trophy.

August:  The pennant races really begin to heat up:

  • The Red Sox – powered by Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez – hold a commanding 10-game lead over the Yankees.  Yankees fans complain about the Sox “buying a championship.”
  • The White Sox, Tigers and Twins are in a three-team dogfight for the AL Central.  The White Sox begin to fade, however, when team chemistry goes in the toilet after Ozzie Guillen’s son Oney buys a six-pack of Four Loko and decides to spend a quiet evening at home on Twitter telling everyone exactly what he thinks of the current White Sox roster.

And it just goes on and on like that.  I also have a rundown of the top 25 offseason moves, though that may actually be baseball writing rather than my usual snark-fest.

The real appeal, here, however, is for you fantasy players.  It’s chock full ‘o the kind of goodness you need to pwn your leagues.  Arron, Matthew, D.J., Drew and many others worked a metric-butt-ton of hours to put this bad boy together.  It’s great stuff.

Take it for a test drive here, and then order it.  You won’t be sorry.

Mookie Betts, Christian Yelich win MVP Awards

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Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts and Brewers outfielder Christian Yelich were announced on Thursday evening as the winners of the 2018 Most Valuable Player Awards as voted on by the Baseball Writers Association of America.

Betts, 26, led baseball with a .346 batting average, a .640 slugging percentage, and 129 runs scored. He also put together a .438 on-base percentage with 32 home runs, 80 RBI, and 30 stolen bases while ranking among the best defensive outfielders. According to Baseball Reference, Betts was worth 10.9 WAR, the highest total by a position player since Barry Bonds in 2002 (11.8). It was the 21st time a player compiled a 10.9 WAR or better since 1871. The others to do it along with Betts and Bonds: Cal Ripken, Jr., Joe Morgan, Carl Yastrzemski, Willie Mays, Mickey Mantle, Stan Musial, Lou Gehrig, Babe Ruth, Rogers Hornsby, Ty Cobb, and Honus Wagner.

Betts is the first Red Sox player to win the MVP Award since second baseman Dustin Pedroia in 2008. Other members of the Red Sox to win the award include Mo Vaughn (1995), Roger Clemens (1986), Jim Rice (1978), Fred Lynn (1975), Carl Yastrzemski (1967), Jackie Jensen (1958), Ted Williams (1946, ’49), Jimmie Foxx (1938), and Tris Speaker (1912).

Angels outfielder Mike Trout and J.D. Martinez each received one first-place vote with Betts receiving the other 28. Trout finished in second place with 265 overall points, Indians infielder José Ramírez finished third with 208, and Martinez finished fourth with 198. They were followed by Alex Bregman, Francisco Lindor, Matt Chapman, Khris Davis, Blake Snell, Justin Verlander, Mitch Haniger, Aaron Judge, Xander Bogaerts, José Altuve, Blake Treinen, Andrelton Simmons, Whit Merrifield, Edwin Díaz, Giancarlo Stanton, Didi Gregorius, Jed Lowrie, Trevor Bauer, Aaron Hicks, and Chris Sale.

Trout is now one of four players to finish second in MVP Award voting four times, joining Stan Musial, Ted Williams, and Albert Pujols. Trout was the runner-up behind Miguel Cabrera in 2012-13 and Josh Donaldson in 2015.

Yelich, 26, led the National League with a .326 batting average, a .598 slugging percentage, and a 1.000 OPS. He also put up a .402 on-base percentage with 36 home runs, 110 RBI, 118 runs scored, and 22 stolen bases while playing above-average defense in the outfield.

Yelich is the first member of the Brewers to win the MVP Award since outfielder Ryan Braun in 2011. The other Brewers to have won the MVP Award are Robin Yount (1982, ’89) and Rollie Fingers (1981).

Nearly a unanimous choice, Yelich was voted in first place on 29 of 30 ballots with NL Cy Young Award winner getting the other first-place vote. Cubs infielder Javier Baéz finished in second place with 250 points and Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado finished in third place with 203 points. They were followed by Freddie Freeman, deGrom, Paul Goldschmidt, Lorenzo Cain, Trevor Story, Matt Carpenter, Max Scherzer, Anthony Rendon, Ronald Acuña Jr., Aaron Nola, Justin Turner, Max Muncy, Jesús Aguilar, Anthony Rizzo, Nick Markakis, and Eugenio Suarez.

Coincidentally, both MVP Award winners hit for the cycle this season. Betts achieved it on August 9 while Yelich did it twice, on August 29 and September 17. Yelich also finished two home runs and one RBI short of the Triple Crown.

The BBWAA voters submitted their ballots before the start of the postseason, so the fact that the Red Sox won the World Series and that the Brewers made it to Game 7 of the NLCS had no impact on the award results. That the Red Sox won a franchise record 108 games during the regular season and the Brewers won the NL Central tiebreaker over the Cubs certainly could have been factors for many voters, however.